Alex Israel’s work taps into the atmosphere, aesthetic qualities, and cultural context of Los Angeles, where he also lives and works. His trademark wall-pieces quote the backdrops of film sets, appropriating the form of stage props while also displaying colors reminiscent of the polished gradients of California Light and Space art. In his edition for “Texte zur Kunst,” Israel continues this harnessing of West Coast styles. Here, the artist has produced an embossed silkscreen print of an Illinois vanity license plate that reads “NRVOUS.” Perhaps riffing on the use of typography of California master conceptualist Ed Ruscha, Israel adds a crucial twist – an engagement with the output of LA’s culture industry, thus placing this piece distinctly within his own idiom. Israel has derived this image from the 1961 Ferrari that Ferris Bueller, in the eponymous John Hughes film, breaks out of his friend’s father’s Miesian glass box of a garage. The car serves as Ferris’s vehicle of choice during an epic day playing hooky from school. The resulting print not only has material depth, but, rendered in trompe l’oeil and sized to match the dimensions of the original plate, in turn, reproduces its referent while nevertheless remaining in the realm of the picture/screen – not unlike the simulacra generated, with spectacular efficiency, by the apparatuses of cinema and TV.
Embossed silkscreen with collage (hand-applied stickers), 61 × 45.7 cm, edition: 100 + 20 A.P., numbered and signed on the front, € 350.– plus shipping.